It’s no secret that opioid addiction has become a crisis. More than 25 percent of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain end up misusing them. As many as 5 percent of people who misuse prescription opioids later turn to heroin. There is some positive news though. Opioid addiction treatment has risen to the challenge.
The opioid addiction emergency in this country has driven the demand for effective treatment. At Riverwalk Recovery, we practice evidence-based care with proven results. We offer opioid addiction treatment with compassion that prepares you for a lifetime in recovery. There is a way out of the downward spiral of addiction. You can halt the addiction in it’s tracks, take your life back and build lasting recovery. It’s not easy, but it is simple. Recovery begins with willingness. Being willing to change and to accept help is all you need to make your start.
Understanding opioid addiction starts with understanding what opioids are. Here is a list of some of the most common opioids.
Methadone, like all opioids, works to block sensations of pain and satisfy cravings. It is most commonly used to treat opiate addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Opiates include drugs such as opium, heroin, and morphine.
However, also like other opioids, methadone use can lead to dependency, and without the drug, persons who are addicted will become irritable and experience withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is considered safe when used properly, but abuse can result in physical and psychological risks.
A prescription medication that contains the active ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is most often used for the treatment of addiction to other opioids such as heroin, hydrocodone, and morphine.
Suboxone is considered safe when used as prescribed by a doctor, but it has the potential to become habit forming when used illicitly. It is a useful and effective tool for addiction treatment, but most patients do not, and should not want to remain on it for life. There are some cases when long term Suboxone maintenance may be the best course of action for harm reduction however.
Subutex contains the same active ingredient as Suboxone. A long-acting synthetic opioid called buprenorphine. Buprenorphine can be helpful as a short-term addiction mitigation measure for several reasons. One is that it has a high affinity for opioid receptors in the brain. It will alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings without delivering the euphoric effects of other opioids. Subutex however does not contact the naloxone which acts as an opioid blocker. Buprenorphine compounds with naloxone are generally considered to be a safer option because they discourage potential abuse and offer an added layer of protection.
Dilaudid is a powerful painkiller that can be as much as nine times stronger than morphine. Dilaudid is generally administered intravenously, but there are other preparations. It is typically only prescribed for moderate to severe pain over a short period of time. Following a serious injury or surgery for example. Because of its potency, it has a very high potential for abuse. The symptoms and side effects of Dilaudid abuse include mood swings, irritability, depression, nausea, stomach pain, trouble urinating, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Fentanyl is one of the most powerful synthetic opioids available. A pain control medication, it is delivered several ways. Most often it is found in a transdermal patch. Tablets, lollipops/suckers and soluble films are also available. The potency of fentanyl makes it especially dangerous. You can fit enough pure fentanyl to kill a person on the head of a pin. This is one of the reasons why fentanyl-linked overdose has tragically become so common.
Illegal drug manufacturers and dealers have taken to adulterating heroin with fentanyl to extend the product and increase profits. Illegally manufacturers fentanyl is even being pressed into pills and sold as oxycodone or other drugs. Fentanyl is usually only prescribed for the most severe types of chronic pain or as palliative care for people with painful terminal illnesses, such as cancer.
Oxycodone is an opioid used to treat moderated to severe pain.. Oxycodone is the active ingredient in several medications including Percocet and Roxicodone. Most preparations combine oxycodone with another non-narcotic analgesic or anti-inflammatory (most often acetaminophen). The presence of acetaminophen in most of these medications adds an additional risk to oxycodone abuse. Excessive intake of acetaminophen can cause severe and permanent liver damage.
Percocet is one of the most common medications containing both oxycodone and acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol). When you use Percocet, you get all the symptoms, side effects and risks that come with Oxycodone use. Also, overdose of acetaminophen is more likely when Percocet is abused and liver damage is a very real possibility.
Hydrocodone is a less powerful, but still very addictive and potent prescription opioid. It is roughly 60-75% as potent as oxycodone. It is also most often prescribed in tablet form and in the U.S. it is always combined with another non-narcotic analgesic or anti-inflammatory drug. The most common preparation is hydrocodone with acetaminophen. This mixture is usually sold as Vicodin. Other hydrocodone and acetaminophen compounds include Norco, Lortab and Zydone.
Getting Help for Opioid Addiction
Many people find themselves addicted to opioids as a result of what began as legitimate use. You may have had an injury or a surgery. Perhaps you have chronic pain and entered a pain management program. Others began by taking opioids recreationally. The result is the same in either case though. Opioid dependency. Being dependent on opioids can be incredibly difficult. Living with the constant fear of withdrawal symptoms if you can’t secure more opioids is a terrible way to live. The physical withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, watery eyes, yawning. These soon give way to stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, cold sweats, muscle spasms, sleeplessness and more. There is no reason to endure any of this though. Help is available.
Recover at Riverwalk
Most of our friendly staff are in recovery themselves. All of us understand addiction intimately and have a personal connection to recovery. We are ready to help, or just listen if that’s what you want. If you are watching someone you love struggle with opioid addiction we can help there too. We will provide guidance and insight into interventions and other methods to help “raise the bottom” to compel someone to accept the help they need. The road to a solution begins with a conversation. You will begin to feel better the moment you start to talk to us. This isn’t a burden you need to bear all on your own. Treatment for opioid addiction is available at Riverwalk Recovery. We work with most private health insurance providers and have reasonable self-pay rates. Let’s talk about what we can do together.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Fortunately, opioid addiction can be treated using a comprehensive, evidence-based program focuses on teaching coping skills and addressing the symptoms of underlying mental health conditions, such as depression.
We can help you recover from opioid addiction and live the long, fulfilling life you deserve!